We might have to say “yes” after reading dancer and writer Kimberly Dawn Neumann’s saga of her health insurance after a knee injury:
I went on COBRA for the first time. And holy what? It was like $650 per month. How on earth was I supposed to pay for that and a Manhattan apartment? I was in sticker shock.
But I paid, knowing that at any moment something horrible might happen (like the swine flu episode, for example … I was really sick). For part of the year I managed to qualify for a government subsidy for artists, which cut my COBRA payment in half and made it almost doable. But as soon as that was done, I watched the money I had once thought would be a down payment on my own place someday dwindle, owing to the additional expense of health insurance.
After I recovered from my first knee surgery, I landed a Broadway show and during that run qualified for another six months of coverage through the Union. I was feeling good … until I reinjured my knee in that show and had to have a second knee surgery. And after another long stint on crutches and rehab, I lost my insurance again.
Back to the COBRA payments, which were insult to injury … literally. This time, they’d gone up to almost $750 per month, with a $500 yearly deductible. I kept paying, and kept watching my savings disappear. As my financial stress levels skyrocketed because I wasn’t in a show anymore and didn’t have coverage as a freelance writer, I began to panic. Something had to give.
I switched to “disaster insurance” through a freelancer’s union type of program. But even that was $300 a month, with a $6,000 deductible. I felt like I couldn’t even go to the doctor.
For more of Kimberly Dawn Neumann’s story: I’m A Slave To My Health Care
Are you a slave to your health insurance? Tell us about it in our discussion forum!
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